Friday, September 16, 2011

To be light...

As I was preparing to leave, I had some unexpected thoughts going through my head. The most unexpected one I dared not tell a soul, because I didn't want to freak anyone out. The thought has passed now, and so, I hope, has any fear it might have aroused prior to my departure. The thought was this: "If I die now, it will be OK."

Before going on, let me say in no uncertain terms that I have no desire to die, nor did I before I left.  I like living and was eager to see what the upcoming months had in store for me. I'd been planning for them for a year.

I think my unusual thought sprang from the fact that before leaving I got to spend time with my family and so many friends, some of whom I had not seen for several years.  After seeing them, I think that they knew that they had influenced my life and that they are important to me.  Feeling secure that I had expressed those sentiments, I felt very much at peace with leaving.

On the 15-hour plane ride, every time we hit a little turbulence, I thought, "OK, God, please let this just be a little blip, because I want to carry out the plans I've made, but if this is the end, thank you for the life I've had and take care of everyone I'm leaving behind.  Help them to know it'll be OK."  Thankfully, there was not much turbulence to pray through and I arrived safe and sound.  When we landed, I knew that in the time to follow, everything would be OK.

Upon further considering my thought, it occurred to me that while I did not, thankfully, physically die, the person that boarded the plane in Louisville on August 24 is most certainly not the person who will go back to  Louisville in May.  If I have not changed, my time away will have been wasted.  I must have some experience of my own death and rebirth, of letting go and being open to what will be.

One of the questions asked for couchsurfing profiles is one's current mission. My current mission is "to be light, in any of the many ways that can be interpreted..."  When I wrote it, I knew I had quite a task ahead of me.

For many reasons, I have yet to accomplish my mission.   First, there's the luggage I packed. Almost as soon as I got here, I realized I had brought unnecessary things.  At one of the places I  couchsurfed, I was asked more than once, "What is all that stuff?!?"  When I listed some of the things I had brought (particularly a couple of the books), I was told that I should have bought them here. I will say that I am OK with having brought them from home, since it means I didn't have to waste time/money here looking for them. Other things, particularly some of the clothing, I wish I had left in the States.  Luckily, I will have a chance to send some of it home with some people in October. I may also give some away as I go...we shall see... So I have not reached "light" in that sense...but I'm working on it!

I still have some baggage to shed in the figurative sense, too. As I mentioned in a previous post, over the last several years I have focused a little too much on my serious nature, to the detriment of the part of me that knows how to let go and simply live in the moment, whatever that moment may be.

Here I am trying to live only in the moment. That means that when I plan, I am doing so day by day, sometimes hour by hour, or even minute by minute. The plans are constantly changing as the moment dictates and that is OK.  This means that when I walked for two hours one morning because the first turn I took was not in the direction I intended to go, it was fine.  This means that I went out for Italian food with a couple I'd met earlier in the day, even though I had been on my way to another restaurant when I ran into them. This means that I went to Spanish mass next to Mother Teresa's tomb because I happened to be there when it started.  Flexibility has been, and must continue to be, among the most important themes of my travels. If it's not, I will surely fail miserably at my mission.

I am also trying to recognize opportunities for lightness when they present themselves.  I danced at the Ganapati festivities I attended.  I taught the Hokey Pokey to the SCN candidates in Bangalore. They were, I think, both scandalized and amused when we put our backsides in!  I sang "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" with a young girl who's been learning it for a school talent contest.  I read fairy tales with another girl.  Here in Ranchi I have lavished love on a kitten (currently asleep on my lap).  These times lift the weight that has somehow accumulated  and bring me a little closer to my goal.  I am sure many more opportunities will arise and I only hope that I'll notice them.

Heaviness and darkness dissipate.   As the weight lifts and the darkness fades, I hope to embrace the person that I am meant to be...embodying light. Seeing the words, I think of the Marianne Williamson quote I've discussed before.  I hope that you also will recognize your way to embody the light that most certainly shines from within.

1 comment:

  1. Your post was "light" to me. It brightened my day and gave me a boost of inspiration. Love and safety to you!